NEW YORK – Mercedes-Benz is unveiling three new Primus powered by the world’s cleanest state-of-the-art diesel engines at the 2008 New York International Auto Show, open to the public Mar. 21-30 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The fuel-efficient 2009-model diesel SUVs, the ML320 BlueTEC, GL320 BlueTEC, and R320 BlueTEC, come with a new AdBlue exhaust treatment system that meets the most stringent 50-state emissions limits.

The diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz SUVs get 20-30 percent better fuel economy, surprisingly good performance and extremely low exhaust emissions. The BlueTEC diesels have a cruising range up to 600 miles traveling at highway speeds. In addition, V8-like pulling power makes the BlueTEC diesels ideal for towing.

BlueTEC is a modular system that includes an oxidation catalytic converter and a maintenance-free particulate filter, as well as new techniques for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions. The BlueTEC diesels use an NOx storage catalytic converter in combination with an SCR catalytic converter and AdBlue injection to lower NOx emissions. The AdBlue system injects an aqueous urea solution into the exhaust flow, which releases ammonia (NH3), reducing nitrogen oxides to harmless nitrogen and water in the downstream SCR catalytic converter. Just the right amount of AdBlue for a given engine load and speed is injected to get the greatest reduction of nitrogen oxides. Its tank only needs to be refilled every 10,000 miles during routine maintenance intervals.

The company’s family SUV, the M-Class, features bold restyling for the 2009-model year. Redesigned front bumpers incorporate new headlights with a distinctive step along the lower edge that continues around a larger, lower grill that holds three large silver ribs. Angular air intakes, widely set fog lights and chrome trim help give the 2009 M-Class a broader, stronger face.

A recontoured rear bumper with recessed reflectors and a stainless-steel skid plate that wraps around its dual exhausts also give the new M-Class a broader stance. Larger outside mirrors provide even better visibility.

Inside, door panels now have an upholstered center section, and the seats boast a sportier design and a four-stage power lumber support for the driver’s seat. A new four-spoke steering wheel features built-in multi-function buttons and shift paddles. New advanced-technology features include an in-dash six-disc DVD changer, hands-free Bluetooth phone system, a high-performance telematics system, and a port for connecting audio devices such as an iPod.

The standard audio system comes with a color display, a double radio tuner, speed-dependent volume control, and a keypad for phone numbers and radio frequencies. Optional equipment includes a voice recognition system, a 610-watt digital harmon kardon Logic7 audio system, and a rear-seat entertainment system with two eight-inch screens, wireless headphones, and an integrated DVD player with dual-source capability.

New standard equipment on the 2009 M-Class, PRE-SAFER is a safety system that can actually sense an impending collision before it happens and take measures to protect occupants during those valuable seconds before impact. The PRE-SAFE system that made its debut on the S-Class automatically tightens the front seat belts before a possible impact, and the front passenger seat moves to a position that can provide better protection. Side windows also close to provide better support for the window curtain air bags. If the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof also closes.